SOAS University of London

School of Arts

Global Screen Industries

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

The degree, of which this course forms a core module, is predicated on the fact that in the global economic and political world of the twenty-first century the image is becoming increasingly significant as a communication system through which we understand society, the world and our place within it. It therefore becomes imperative that we understand the industrial and economic foundations upon which this image culture is founded. The course will therefore provide a foundation upon which students studying on the Global Cinemas and Screen Arts degree can build their understanding of creative practice as part of a ‘field of cultural production’ that encompasses economic and political as well as creative concerns. Thus complicating the notions of creative genius promoted by theories of the auteur. The course will provide students with a solid foundation in the economic and political imperatives of the global industry and supporting political institutions. The course is effectively divided into five segments corresponding to the five geographical regions covered: East Asia, Africa, Bollywood and the diaspora, South East Asia, and the Middle East.


The following course is the pre-requisite course:  Introduction to Cinema (BBK): FFME00254ACS

The course Orientalism on Screen: 155901413 is a co-requisite course.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate: 

  1. an understanding of the theoretical, methodological and empirical issues involved in the analysis of non-Western film industries with particular reference to Asia, the Near and Middle East, and Africa
  2. an in-depth understanding of the historical complexities of the transnational nature of film industries in terms of financing, the impact of new technologies such as digitalization, convergences with television and other media, and the existence of large diasporic communities
  3. an awareness of ‘national cinema’ as a concept related to both political agendas (state support for film production and promotion) and a marketing tool for the circulation of films in both the ‘art house’ and ‘film festival’ cinema circuits in the age of ‘globalisation’
  4. an awareness of the changing role of Hollywood and its relationship to world cinema through the ‘new division of cultural labour’ (Toby Miller et al 2005)
  5. an understanding of economic imperatives that impact upon content (specific to the various regions covered)


This course will be taught over 10 weeks with a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar/tutorial classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

Global Screen Industries aims to provide students with a broad overview of the screen industries in South Asia, South East Asia, East Asia, Africa and/or the Middle East. Through an engagement with specificities of 'non-Hollywood' production and consumption modes, the focus is on how screen industries have formed outside of the dominant Hollywood model, assessing at the same time, to what extent global cultural flows have enabled similarities to emerge. It will have a strictly thematic focus, introducing some aspects of these non-Hollywood screen industries. Government guidelines, political contexts as well as technological, linguistic and historical issues will be provided where necessary. The syllabus will be updated on an annual basis.

Method of assessment

An essay of 1,500 words to be submitted on day 1, week after reading week, term 1 (30%); an essay of 4,000 words to be submitted on day 1, week 1, term 2 (70%).

Suggested reading

  • Miller, Toby et al (2005) Global Hollywood 2
  • Davis, Darrell William & Yueh-yu Yeh East asian Screen Industries
  • Standish, Isolde (2005) A New History of Japanese Cinema: a Century of Narrative Film
  • Lim, Song Hwee. “Six Chinese Cinemas in Search of a Historiography” in Lim, Song Hwee and Julian Ward eds. The Chinese Cinema Book (London: British Film Institute, 2011).
  • Xu, Gary, “The Right to Copy and the Digital Copyright: Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and China's Cultural Symptoms” inSinascape: Contemporary Chinese Cinema (New York: Rowman& Littlefield Publishers, 2006)
  • Lau, Jenny Kwok Wah. “Hero: China’s Response to Hollywood Globalization.” Jump Cut 49 (Spring 2007)
  • Larson, Wendy. “Zhang Yimou’sHero: Dismantling the Myth of Cultural Power.”Journal of Chinese Cinemas vol.2, no.3 (2008): 181-196.
  • Yeh, Emilie Yueh-yu and Davis, Darrell William, “Re-nationalizing China’s Film Industry: Case Study on the China Film Group and Film Marketization,” Journal of Chinese Cinemas, vol.2, no.1 (2008): 27-51.
  • Baumgärtel. T. (ed.) 2012. Southeast Asian Independent Cinema, Singapore: NUS Press.
  • Bellows, L. (2011) ‘The aroused public in search of the pornographic in Indonesia’, Ethnos:Journal of Anthropology’, 76: 209–32.
  • Heeren, Katinka van. 2012. 2012. Contemporary Indonesian film: spirits of reform and ghosts from the past. KITLV:  Leiden.
  • Ingawanij, May Adadol and McKay, Benjamin (eds.) 2012. Glimpses of freedom: independent cinema in Southeast Asia. Ithaca, NY : Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University.
  • Sen, K. and Hill, D. (eds) 2009. Politics and the Media in Twenty-First Century Indonesia: decade of democracy, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Sen, K. (1994) Indonesian Cinema: framing the New Order, London: Zed Books.
  • Dwyer, Rachel and Divia Patel 2002 Cinema India: the visual culture of Hindi film.  London: Reaktion Books and the Victoria and Albert Museum/New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press/Delhi: Oxford University Press
  • Dwyer, Rachel and Jerry Pinto eds 2011 Beyond the boundaries of Bollywood: the many forms of Hindi cinema. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Ganti, Tejaswini 2004  Bollywood: a guidebook to popular Hindi cinema.  London: Routledge.
  • Kavoori, Anandam and Aswin Punathambekar (eds)  (2008) Global Bollywood.  New York: New York University Press.
  • Prasad, M. Madhava (1998) Ideology of the Hindi film: a historical onstruction.  Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Rajadhyaksha, Ashish (2003)  ‘The “Bollywoodization” of the Indian cinema: cultural nationalism in a global arena.’  Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 4, 1: 25-39.
  • Vasudevan, Ravi 2010 The melodramatic public: film form and spectatorship in Indian cinema. Ranikhet: Permanent Black.
  • Herman Wasserman and Sean Jacobs, eds (2003), Shifting Selves: Post-apartheid Essays on Mass Media, Culture and Identity
  • Brian Larkin (2008), Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria
  • Herman Wasserman, ed. (2011), Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa
  • Ramon Lobato (2012), Shadow Economies of Cinema: Mapping Informal Film Distribution
  • Lila Abu-Lughod, Dramas of Nationhood: the Politics of Television in Egypt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
  • Savaş Arslan, “Postmortem for Yeşilçam: Post-Yeşilçam, or the New Cinema of Turkey,” Chapter 7 of Cinema in Turkey: a New Critical History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 237-73.
  • Tasha G. Oren, “Format Television and Israeli Telediplomacy” in A. Aneesh, Lane Hall, and Patrice Petro (eds.), Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012), 86-102
  • Azadeh Farahmand, “Disentangling the International Festival Circuit: Genre and Iranian Cinema,” in Rosaling Galt and Karl Schoonover (eds.), Global Art Cinema (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 263-81.
  • Randall Halle, “Offering Tales They Want to Hear: Transnational European Film Funding as Neo-Orientalism,” in Rosaling Galt and Karl Schoonover (eds.) Global Art Cinema (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2010), 303-19.
  • Samia Mehrez, Egypt’s Culture Wars: Politics and Practice (Routledge, 2008)
  • Samia Mehrez (ed.), Translating Egypt’s Revolution: the Language of Tahrir (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2012).
  • Rasha Salti (ed.), Insight into Syrian Cinema (New York: ArteEast, 2006).
  • Mehdi Semati, Media, Culture and Society in Iran: Living with Globalization and the Islamic State (Routledge, 2007).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules